The Highway Help Program was built on the foundation that motorists naturally want to help those in need. However, many reservations exist that hinder the ability and comfort level in helping strangers. For example: Is it safe to help a stranger, does the person even need my help, and who do I call? Today's society is concerned for their personal safety and therefore are less likely to stop to assist strangers. Also, with increased traffic congestion, stopping to help can prove to be dangerous for the assisting citizen.
Therefore to minimize these barriers to offering help, motorists not only need to see when help is needed, but they also require the knowledge of what they can do to provide the proper assistance without jeopardizing their own personal safety. Today, through the technological means of cellular phones, many motorists now have the means to safely offer this assistance, however they need to be educated on how to do so.
With this in mind, the Highway Help Program was launched in Ontario in May 1996, as a provincial safety effort of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. As a result of the program's success in Ontario, the Highway Help Program has now expanded nationwide by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Police Services from coast to coast. The program was nationally launched on January 12, 2000.
Due to the success in Canada, The International Association of Chiefs of Police endorsed the Highway Help Program in March of 2002.
The Highway Help Program aims to proactively reduce the dangers and fears associated with being stranded through establishing a means for safely and effectively communicating the need for assistance. This is accomplished by combining the unique design of the Highway Help "Call Police" Sign with cellular phone technology and the human desire to help those in need. This partnership allows people to assist one another without risking the personal safety of either party.
We believe that dangers and fears experienced by stranded motorists can be reduced through our community partnership approach, which combines the resources of community groups, the police, Crime Stoppers and cellular phone owners. The program offers all Canadians a proactive means to instil a positive, caring attitude of treating road safety as a shared responsibility of our communities.